A Passing Sound
The falling sun looks like bitten lemon cake,
the words ethereal and ephemeral have been
confused yet again, and I have decided that for
my birthday dessert I want etymology, and
for spring I want not one more death falling
into my mother’s practical hands. She’ll never
be still and yet she holds. My father spends
his mornings translating haikus, all those winter
bones, Japanese cats, jellyfish melting in palms.
Good translations, yet when he says that
my mother cried, it never translates into a picture
in my mind. But he believes that you can 5-7-5
your way into both grief and happiness. Make
sweetness out of rotting roots. And even though
you love the chaos of bird song, could never
assign it a syllable count to make it improve,
it is still helpful sometimes to imagine that
5-7-5 makes for a better sounding world.
My mother lives on a mountain between
birdsong and haiku: untangling the chaos,
finding the syllables that matter, letting fly away
those that can be let go.